Dear Annie: My husband has a wonderful mother, and I am happy that such a terrific woman raised him. The problem is, she wants me to call her “Mom.” I love her dearly, but I am not comfortable with this. She introduces me as her daughter and signs all of her emails and texts, “Love, Mom.” Any advice on how to handle this situation? – Uncomfortable Daughter-in-Law
Dear Uncomfortable: It is never easy to start calling someone by a more familiar name. Mom obviously wants to be closer to you. You have three choices: You force yourself to call her “Mom,” knowing that eventually it will become easier and natural; you simply tell her that you think she is terrific, but you would prefer to call her by her first name because you consider her a good friend; you wait until you have children and then call her “Grandma.”
Dear Annie: You recommended NAMI’s Family-to-Family program to “Parents at Wits’ End.” I’d like to weigh in on that.
I recently took one of their classes and can honestly say I have a better understanding of what my family member is going through. Before, I was totally clueless as to how to deal with the psychotic episodes and made a lot of mistakes. Thanks to NAMI, I am more informed, feel better prepared in dealing with difficult situations and, with my new perspective, am encouraged that it can and will get better. – Supporter of NAMI of Kansas
Dear Kansas: Thank you for adding your words of support for this wonderful program.
Annie’s Snippet for Labor Day (credit Booker T. Washington): Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.